Tango Argentino > Good tango music for practice

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Danish Guy, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    I have been dancing salsa for years, but now I have started on tango lessons and loving it. I have the luxury of having a wonderful dance partner, and opportunities from time to time to practice on the living room floor, to get the smooth tango flow implemented in the small basic patterns.

    Finding tango music is not hard, but finding music that is really good for dancing and beginner “practica” is another thing.

    My favorite track is:
    Gotan Project: Tango Square

    Gotan Project has other good tracks too, and I have some classic tango too. But I could use some input on which other tracks to get my hands on to get my collection growing.

    What would you recommend?
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

  3. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Yep, Di Sarli is an important part of the "beginner's hell" when taking up tango. This is the "A noob must struggle" philosophy.

    If smooth music is what you like, then try Spider's web by katie melua.
  4. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    As someone else might say: "You cannot be serious".
    Tango music this isn't. Tango is primarily a dance to its music.

    A noob has to learn tango music
    too - preferably by listening, a lot.

    Though Di Sarli wouldn't be my choice for a beginner CD,
    here's Michael Lavocah's suggestion for a first Tango CD:


    which is indeed Di Sarli but with, as he puts it,
    a steady walking beat. I cannot comment about
    bordertangoman's suggestion as I haven't got
    a track listing.

    If it was one artist I'd probably choose a Canaro CD
    because he is so danceable. Choose accessibility for a beginner
    so how about Canaro's Bailando Tangos, Valses y Milongas
    found here:

    One other thought for various orchestras and danceability
    is Federicos 4 CD collection, even if the sleeve notes are weird:


    Although the title says "The World's Greatest Salon Tangos"
    (a master of understatement Federico is) in fact there are Tango,
    Vals and Milongas plus two milongable Foxtrots.
    Recommended and best value too.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Here's a few CDs to consider:

    Miguel Calo - Al compas del corazon
    Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida Canta Sus Exitos
    Francisco Canaro - Bailando Tangos, Valses Y Milongas
    Francisco Canaro - Sus Exitos con Ernesto Fama
    Juan D'Arienzo - De Pura Cepa 1935-1936
    Carlos Di Sarli - RCA Victor 100 AÑOS
    Edgardo Donato - Coleccion 78 RPM: 1933-1941
    Osvaldo Fresedo - Tangos De Salon
    Enrique Rodriguez - Tangos con Armando Moreno
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I suggest that you do some listening on YouTube, or elsewhere, and find out what your preference is, then pursue that.
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    or spotify....you can listen to a whole track, not just a clip
  8. pascal

    pascal Active Member

    During my beginner class we use Di Sarli like every teacher, and when we do the demo at the end of the class we hurry to switch to anything else. In ten years when they'll be good, they will remember their first months of tango each time they hear a DiSarli. And they will sigh.

    Alternative suggestion: Esteban Morgado, alb Milongueros
  9. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    Orquesta Tipica Victor! Coleccion 78 R.P.M. 1930-1944 is a reasonable CD for them.
  10. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I was going to quote "You cannot be serious" again!
    But you obviously are.

    This isn't good tango practice music, it even has a version
    of Oblivion on it. Half the tracks are described as Milongas
    but that's almost as much of a misdescription as naming
    the album "Milongueros". It's ok for listening but why when
    there's better and real tango music? You can tell I'm not a fan!
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    If I could have just one disk, it would be Juan D'Arienzo -Sus Primeros Exitos Vol 1 from BMG/RCA. It has a good mixture of early D'Arienzo Tango / Milonga / Vals with sound quality that any beginner needs to get used to (!) but almost every track is excellent for dancing.

    My other choice would be a bit of a contrast: The soundtrack to Carlos Saura's film: Tango from DG. Good modern sound, and a wide variety of styles, and much to try out, and work out why some tango is danceable and much is not.
  12. plugger

    plugger Member

    There's a boxed set of 10 CDs, "El Tango- Pasion Y Emocion," available online for $34 at one site and $17 at another. These are old recordings by various famous artists from the golden age, but there are flaws. I can't find much rhyme or reason in the way they're grouped by disk, and the sound isn't the best, even compared to other tango recordings from that era. My set came without any commentary. I much prefer to buy individual CDs by specific artists, but this does offer a lot of music from a variety of orchestras for very little money.
  13. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Leave it out - he's a beginner!!!

    Surely working out what is danceable and what is not is for later?
    Give him a break and give him stuff that is danceable.
  14. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    What's your objection? These are some of the most danceable tracks ever recorded. The milonga and vals tracks (in the minority) are a useful introduction to the styles, and very danceable too, even for beginners.

    Weren't you advocating earlier learning by listening: hence my recommendation for the Tango soundtrack. I put it on, after my earlier post, and it's really great listening, and at least half of it is danceable. Working out which half is a very useful practise exercise, and the ones that aren't danceable are pleasant listening, and will increase anyone's understanding of the genre.

    BTW, I agree with both of your earlier suggestions, although I don't quite share Michael's enthusiasm for the Di Sarli, that's based more on the quality of the CD transfer than the actual performances, which are peerless in their style. I like the Canaro too, but the high proportion of Milonga and Vals tracks might militate against its suitability for a beginner - but anyone should grow into it.
  15. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Music for Dancing.

    I thought you were/are a dance teacher though not of tango.
    Chuck him in at the deep end why don't you!

    He's asking for tango tracks to practice to, not do his head in.
    D'Arienzo may be your thing but only in small doses for me.
    The rhythm sometimes he plays, then he doesn't, then he plays
    maybe double time, miss a beat here and there etc. etc.
    And that applies even to the first track, La Cumparsita.

    I can remember having privates for learning the (slow) waltz
    and teacher would put on a track and I'd ask for another and
    another until I could hear the beat clearly. Last thing a beginner
    wants is to have to imagine the rhythm or to cope with any peculiarities.
    KISS is the motto, surely?

    Think I've had the conversation about Vals and Milonga before,
    Vals especially. Rarely do orchestras mess with the Vals rhythm,
    even though they can be very perverse with tango.

    Yes I was and do. But I'm answering the question,
    tango CDs for practice. So gently does it.

    The people who have to know what is best to dance to are DJs,
    and I wish more did.

    I think I agree with you about that even though Michael specifically
    recommends that Di Sarli as the one tango CD you should buy if you're
    only buying one. One day I'll ask him why - meanwhile I'll assume it's
    the teacher in him. For some reason teachers do tend to teach to Di Sarli.
    And if your teacher does,on those grounds it's worth getting.

    If tango is what the OP wants then there are many Canaro - even starting
    with Poema could be good though I have a particular liking for Alma Tanguera
    but maybe that's because I rather like rhythmic melody.

    Overall I'd go for the Federico 4 CD set, it was one of my early buys
    and is better, and better value, than the his first single CD. Early on
    a wide introduction to danceable music is helpful and no guesswork.
    Just my view!
  16. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    It's often the best way. Sink or swim.

    I'd agree that any of D'Arienzo's versions of La Cumparsita can be challenging at times, but this is the tamest. Most of the rest of the disk meets the needs of someone who is primarily 'walking' with steady and clear rhythm. The phrases are very clear too. I believe that anyone just starting out needs to develop a rhythmic response to the music first, and walk those miles, and then start to explore songs with more freedom. I don't think you can do better than the 'King of the Beat'. Perhaps I like his music making a lot: you plainly don't.

    It wouldn't do to all be the same. Perhaps we might agree that Gotan's latest offering is woeful?
  17. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Hmm, so the choice is drown or survive?

    You know the problem we have here is unfamiliarity at every level.
    We don't have the music in our system so we have to learn both
    the dance and its music simultaneously. No wonder it's difficult.
    So the almost unfathomable (to a beginner dancer) D'Arienzo
    can be dealt with later.

    Not really, no. So far I haven't come across a coherent explanation
    of why D'Arienzo is credited with being tango dancing's revival force
    in the thirties. Maybe purely because he was different because I don't
    regard him as easy until you get to the Vals. I've gone back to playing
    your recommendation now but I don't see where you get the steady
    rhythm from though of course there are passages where that's the case.
    It definitely is not my choice of beginner practice music.

    That would be a yes then - on both counts.
  18. Nvm

    Nvm New Member

    The classics always warm my heart.
  19. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Danish Guy, this site will keep you busy:


    The "Building a More Extensive Collection" section has a good breakdown of musical styles and periods and the composers/arrangers and orchestras in each.

    Unfortunately there are no samples to listen to on the site, but as suggested by others, use YouTube, Spotify, etc... to listen to the music and see some dancing to it. (Quality will vary...)
  20. LCbaseball22

    LCbaseball22 Member

    I suppose this would have been a good place to ask my question about contemporary Tango music. However, is there a difference between the rhythm/beat for Argentine Tango and American Tango or is it just the type of hold that differs? Anyways, suburbanknight presented me with a nice list of pop music for Tango in the thread I posted in the ballroom section, but does anyone else know of some music that works...how about some rock? Are there any rock songs that can be danced to Tango? Or hip hop/club? I know they've danced to some really unconventional stuff on DWTS, but I'm not sure if the songs they choose are always actually suitable for the given style of dance. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

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